For those of us who live and work in the city, or for those who like their personal space and want to live alone, more often than not, the homes we're occupying are small and compact. Not a problem in itself, especially if we're not often at home due to busy lifestyles and work commitments, but when it comes to decorating, it can be a bit of a headache. Furnishing a small flat requires careful consideration not only in terms of what you're buying, but how everything will fit together in a sensible and practical way. Maximising floor space, making the most of natural light, and finding enough space to store one's belongings are already on our mind before we can even consider what looks stylish! However, you can have a tiny flat that is both free of clutter and packed with style – just follow these 6 simple steps:
Something which should be obvious, but is often forgotten or ignored: the walls can be used for storage! Clear some space by opting for wall cabinets, such as this cool bookcase system from We Do Wood. Both smart and sustainable, these separated units allow you to display books, ornaments, plants, and anything else you want to show off, without taking up a single square metre of precious space. If you want to stick to a completely minimalist design, choose cabinets with sliding doors so that all of your items can be hidden, or, mix and match, with some closed off sections and some sections to display one or two key decorative pieces.
Too many clothes and still nothing to wear? It's a familiar problem that, no matter what you do with your clothes, never seems to go away! However, if you're working with a limited amount of space, it really is worth having a proper sort out before you invest in your wardrobe or storage solutions. Once you've sifted through the good, the bad and the ugly of your clothing collection, it's time to choose the best storage option for your small flat. Whether you want to use your clothes as decoration, hanging them on a simple clothing rail to brighten up the bedroom, or keep them out of the way in a traditional wardrobe, there are plenty of suitable designs for small apartments. These linen drawers from Lamco Design are one example of how you can store your clothes in a tidy, easy-to-access system without needing loads of space.
Wooden flooring is an absolute must in a small flat, as not only is it super practical and easy to clean, but it helps keep the space looking light and fresh. Pale tones are the obvious choice as they will help to make the room appear bigger. Larger boards are also better, as more lines on the floor equals unnecessary distractions that contribute to a cluttered impression. These quality boards from Quick-Step are the perfect option for maintaining a sleek and seamless finish. Team them with light, Scandinavian-inspired interiors in the spirit of the current trend, and you really can't go wrong.
So, you've only just got enough room to cook in your kitchen, and a dining table to seat guests is pretty much out of the question. Fear not! you can still have somewhere to sit and enjoy a civilised meal, thanks to the clever folding furniture pieces which are now available. If eating at the table is important to you, choose a small fold-out table which you can slot behind the door, under the bed, or anywhere you have room, when it's not in use. The same can be done with fold out chairs – it's up to you to decide how many your flat can accommodate.
Perhaps you're after something a little comfier? Only having your bed to sit and relax on can be annoying, and it's nice to have some separation between 'living' and 'sleeping' areas. In that case, a folding arm chair, or 'cinema chair', like that from Gas&Air Studios could be just what you need!
One quick and easy way to totally transform your flat is to implement a neutral colour scheme. This means basic white interiors – white walls, white bed spread, white furnishings… Jazz the room up with bursts of colour here and there, but remember that the best way to create a sense of space is to utilise light colours, and of course, natural light.
Reflective surfaces are a sure fire way to keep your rooms bright, and if you're lucky enough to have big windows like those pictured here, be sure to make the most of them. Avoid heavy materials for your curtains, and better yet, stick to white roller blinds or minimalist white shutters for maximum brightness.
Above all, your flat is your own personal place to relax, refresh, and do as you please! You should be able to make your own mark. Whether you're a fan of retro patterns, vintage prints, or photography, you should always find a spot to display your tastes. Keeping in mind simple, neutral décor suits smaller flats, the décor in your home should still say something about you. The example you can see here incorporates printed wallpaper to create a signature look, which is balanced out by contemporary white furnishings, and perfectly illuminated with indirect, recessed lighting and ceiling spotlights.